Welfare programmes and schools functioning under Tribal Welfare Department – Tamil Nadu

Toda cultural heritage and education: Nilgiri mountains >>

Scheduled Tribes of Tamilnadu
As per the census of 2011, the population of Tamil Nadu is 7.21 crore [72,1 million] of which Scheduled Castes (known as Adi Dravidar in Tamil Nadu) are 1.44 crore (20.01%) and Scheduled Tribes are 7.95 lakh [795.000] (1.10%). The mandate of this Department is to address the causes for their handicaps, backwardness and uplift them in socio, economic and education on par with the rest of the society. 

This department is concerned with overall policy formulation, planning and implementation of these welfare programmes reflecting the policies of the State Government for their accelerated growth in their socio-economic status, educational development and ensuring their sustained growth and social dignity. In order to ensure the all round development of the Adi Dravidar and Scheduled Tribes, this Government is implementing various welfare schemes for which a sum of Rs.3549.65 Crore has been provided in the Budget Estimate for the year 2018-2019. 

With the principal ideology that Education only can bring changes in the society, this Department lays great emphasis on the educational sector as a means to uplift and empower the Adi Dravidar and Scheduled Tribes. […]  

As per the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders (Amendment) Act 1976, there are 36 Tribal community in Tamil Nadu. They are (1) Adiyan (2) Aranadan (3) Eravallan (4) Irular (5) Kadar (6) Kammara (7) Kanikaran or Kanikkar (8) Kaniyan or Kanyan (9) Kattunayakan (10)Kochu Velan (11) Konda Kapus (12) Kondareddis (13) Koraga (14) Kota, (15) Kudiya or Melakudi (16) Kurichchan (17) Kurumbas (18) Kurumans (19) Maha Malasar (20) Malai Arayan (21) Malai Pandaram (22) Malai Vedan (23) Malaikkuravan (24) Malasar (25) Malayali (26) Malayakandi (27) Mannan (28) Mudugar or Muduvan (29) Muthuvan (30) Pallayan (31) Palliyan (32) Palliyar (33) Paniyan (34) Sholaga (35) Toda** (36) Uraly
(*Kanniyakumari and Shenkottah Taluk of Tirunelveli District) 
(** Except Kanniyakumari and Shenkottah Taluk of Tirunelveli District) 
Out of the 36 Tribal communities in Tamilnadu, 6 Tribal Communities i.e. Toda, Kota, Kurumbas, Irular, Paniyan and Kattunayakan are classified as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs). 
1. Education (i) Schools 
In order to improve the literacy of Tribal people through education, this Department has established and is running Residential schools near their habitations. 

Details of schools functioning under Tribal Welfare Department and students strength

Sl. No.Classification of SchoolsNo. of SchoolsNo. of Students
1Government Tribal Residential School (GTR)30826,388
2Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS)71,553

Source: POLICY NOTE 2018 – 2019  by ADI DRAVIDAR AND TRIBAL WELFARE DEPARTMENT Scheduled Tribes of Tamilnadu (pp. 1-2, Introduction and pp. 55-56)
URL: http://cms.tn.gov.in/sites/default/files/documents/adtw_e_pn_2018-19.pdf
Date visited: 12 July 2019

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

Objective of EMRS [“Eklavya Model Residential Schools”]
[Peruse the government guidelines here or in the 2010 backup included below]

i. Comprehensive physical, mental and socially relevant development of all students enrolled in each and every EMRS. Students will be empowered to be change agent, beginning in their school, in their homes, in their village and finally in a large context.

ii. Focus differentially on the educational support to be made available to those in Standards XI to X, so that their distinctive needs can be met.

iii. Support the annual running expenses in a manner that offers reasonable remuneration to the staff and upkeep of the facilities.

iv. Support the construction of infrastructure that provides education, physical, environmental and cultural needs of student life. […]

URL: https://tribal.gov.in/DivisionsFiles/sg/EMRSguidlines.pdf
Date visited: 30 Jul7 2021

‘Kaathadi’ is a YouTube channel collectively built by students and teachers from the tribal communities in the Nilgiris

The full story with more pictures | New Indian Express >>

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Backgrounder & image © Economic Times >>
  • Ekalavya* Residential School Scheme (EMR): a network of boarding schools where tribal children are to be educated in accordance with rules and syllabi provided by the government; such schools are being designated as “Eklavya Model Residential School (EMR)” with the objective of empowering students “to be change agent, beginning in their school, in their homes, in their village and finally in a large context.”
    https://tribal.gov.in/DivisionsFiles/sg/EMRSguidlines.pdf | Backup
  • Residential School and Ashram School
    In some regions there are similar “Residential Schools” and “Ashram Schools” for tribal children, as in Tripura where they are managed by a society called “Tripura Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TTWREIS)” | Voluntary and involuntary
  • Factory schools “exist to turn tribal and indigenous children – who have their own language and culture – into compliant workers-of-the-future. The world’s largest Factory School stated that it turns ‘Tax consumers into tax payers, liabilities into assets’.”– survivalinternational.org/factoryschools | Research this subject with the help of a Safe custom search engine >>

* Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya): the name of a legendary archer prodigy “who, being a Nishada [Sanskrit Niṣāda, “tribal, hunter, mountaineer, degraded person, outcast”], had to give his thumb as a fee to the brahmin guru thus terminating his skill as an archer.” – Romila Thapar (“The epic of the Bharatas”) | Read the full paper here | Backup download link (pdf) >>

Note: “Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” amounts to genocide, which the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention defines as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” (Article II, d & e)

Find more posts relating to the above issues here: Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools | Rights of Indigenous Peoples >>

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